A Magical Snowy Wedding In Megeve l’Arboisie
|25th January 2020
photographer - Eight bells
This is a wedding I will never forget. When Chris and Claire planned their mountain wedding for a March spring day, they didn’t for one minute think they would be getting married in a snowstorm.
However, the fierce weather patterns of the Alps had a different idea, as Claire explains:
A white blizzard swept across the mountains causing the ski lifts to close and making the ceremony location inaccessible for most of the day. We chose to get married in March, which is known for its blue skies and longer days, so we hadn’t anticipated it being a complete whiteout. At the ceremony there should have been panoramic views of the Mont Blanc and its Massif, however on the wedding day we could barely see a meter in front of us.”Clair
Shooting in a blizzard at the top of a mountain in temperatures as low as -10°C wasn’t how Polly and I had envisaged the day going either. We were aware that the bride and groom’s original vision of their wedding images would not be achievable in such conditions. More than usual, we needed to think on our feet and use our intuition to capture the events of the day.
Fortunately, when two loving people come together with their loved ones to celebrate their marriage, things have a wonderful way of working out. Magical scenes began to unfold before us, with the whiteness of the background and the snowflakes falling down on the couple and the wedding crowd creating a truly striking vision.
I particularly love the image of the wedding party holding umbrellas and cheering with their hands in the air. There was no way the weather was going to break their spirit, as it turned out, the snow storm only made their smiles even wider. And the bride was glowing, as she put it:
‘The best part about having a small wedding was seeing our closest friends and family stood right by our side as we became husband and wife.’Clair
After the wedding ceremony, which took place in the very spot on top of the mountain were Chris had proposed to Claire, the couple descended down the ski lift and climbed into a horse drawn carriage which was waiting for them in the village square. Villagers and the wedding guests waived the couple off, as the horse trotted through the pretty French village, a moment which Claire describes as ‘like we were in a fairy-tale’.
After the ceremony Claire and Chris had made sure that a warming glass of Vin Chaud was waiting for the guests at the Super Megeve restaurant. Later, a wedding breakfast of raclette and cheese fondue in the cosy chalet style interior of L’ Arboisie hotel, went down very well with the guests and continued the French alpine theme.
Despite their lack of local knowledge and GCSE French language skills (as Claire put it) the couple chose to work with local suppliers to achieve the wedding they wanted. Laure at Fleur Privees supplied the stunning winter flowers and Jean-Pierre of Boulangerie Le Montagnard (chosen by the couple because he makes the best croissants in the village!) baked an impressive pink wedding cake.
The mountain weather will never be tamed, but as this wedding has shown, with so much love in the air, the right people in the right place for a wedding will always make a remarkable occasion. In Claire’s words:
The wedding day didn’t go to plan at all, however it was more magical than we ever could have anticipated.”Clair
Our job was to capture this magic, without letting the extreme weather conditions hinder us. As we hope you will see from the gallery, we finished with lovely atmospheric photos which captured a uniquely beautiful and extraordinary wedding.